How to Create Stunning Reflections in Just One Minute

Reflections are a great way to turn very average images into stunning keepers worthy of including in your portfolio. In this video, learn how to create incredible reflections in less than 60 seconds.

I must admit I'm a huge fan of reflections. As I've lived almost my entire life by the ocean, the opportunities for reflections are ample and I've always been drawn and attracted to the creative opportunities that reflections afford you. Especially now that I have a two-year-old daughter who absolutely loves splashing in the water and playing in the wet sand.

However, if you want to get reflections right in camera, you do need certain conditions to work in your favor. At the beach, for example, you need a lowish tide that draws back across the sand a long way. High tides don't work because there's too much water pushing across the sand to create that mirror like surface that you need. And if I'm perfectly honest, as an overprotective dad I'm not particularly comfortable trying to take great shots of my daughter as she plays so close to the water's edge — low tide or not. That means I miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities to get reflection shots of her. And that's where today's video comes in.

In less than a minute, PiXimperfect shows you how to get fantastic reflection shots in Photoshop even if your original photo has nothing that even resembles a reflection. Granted, the video is sped up a little to fit it in under a minute and you might have to pause a couple times to catch everything, but there's only a few steps you need to do that are very easy to follow.

And it works for any kind of photo you want. Once you know how to do it, you can go back and look at old photos you thought weren't great and create reflections and turn them into amazing shots fit for your portfolio. Happy days!

There are many ways to create reflections in Photoshop, some faster than others. How do you do it and how does it differ from the tips in this video?

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Lou Bragg's picture

Fake pictures = Fake news

Iain Stanley's picture

Different strokes for different folks I suppose. In the digital age, I have absolutely zero problem playing with images and enhancing them, as long as you're up front about it if people ask. I'm sure most people who produce black and white photos didn't see the original scene that way at the time......

To me, art is about creativity. This is just another extension.

Lou Bragg's picture

Upfront about it? Who is gonna say “look at my nice picture, it’s fake” ?? I’m all for creativity as long as it’s not misleading... Call it a collage instead of photography if you want to be a bit more honest.

Iain Stanley's picture

Fair point. But if someone is buying a print of mine, it's usually coz they like what they see and they think it will look nice on their wall or in a frame at home. If they happen to ask me if this is exactly what I saw on the day I took the shot (I can't ever remember that happening but anyway) then I would be more than happy to say "no, I added the reflection"

Lou Bragg's picture

In landscape photography as well as news photography ( and some other genres ) the public has the expectation of looking at a faithful and unaltered image when it comes to its content. However, a manipulated picture can be a beautiful artistic IMAGE, and be sold as such. In this case the it’s not necessary to be upfront about the creation process.

Rob Watts's picture

Or... you know, be there to capture the actual reflection.

Iain Stanley's picture

Well I guess if you don’t have the necessary conditions or landscape around you to do that, you can do it in post, like this :)